Here are some common Kindle Fire problems, and how to fix them

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Problems with PC connection, overheating, Wi-Fi, and more

Problem: Connecting to PC

A lot of people have trouble connecting their Kindle Fire, HD, or HDX to their desktop PC. You might be trying to move files over and encounter the message “The device has either stopped responding or has been disconnected.” Perhaps you can’t get it to show up under Computer as a drive, so there’s no way to drag and drop files. You can find discussions of this one at the Amazon forum.

Workarounds:

  • Use an app like Dropbox to wirelessly transfer files.
  • You could also email files to yourself if you don’t have many and they aren’t very large.

Potential solutions:

  • First of all, try turning both your Kindle (hold down power for 20 seconds) and your PC off and on again.
  • Make sure that your Kindle Fire tablet is fully charged.
  • Try using a different USB cable.
  • If you have another spare one, then try plugging it into a different USB port.
  • If you’re using a Windows XP or Vista PC then make sure you have the Media Transfer Protocol Porting Kit installed.

Problem: Purple or blue haze on the screen

Some people reported a purple or blue haze around the edges of the Kindle Fire HDX screen, which is particularly noticeable when the background is white. It seems to vary in intensity on different devices. If you have a major problem, then it’s down to a manufacturing flaw, so you should be able to get a replacement. Here’s an Amazon forum post about this problem and a YouTube video highlighting it.

Solution:

  • Contact Amazon or use the Mayday service and report the problem. If it is clearly noticeable, then you should be able to get a replacement. There’s a distinction between a slight blue tint, which is considered normal, and a major haze around the edges, as some people have encountered.

Amazon did post a clarification about its use of blue LEDs which stated, “As a result of using these blue LEDs, you may notice a very narrow, faint blue tint around the edge of the device when looking at items with a white background, such as books or web pages. All displays have some level of light emission around the edges, and the light on the Kindle Fire HDX 7″ is blue due to the technology used to render perfect color accuracy.”

Malfunction: Overheating

Some users have reported issues with the Kindle Fire HD overheating while playing games, watching movies, or surfing the web. In extreme cases, the overheating even causes the tablet to shut down. You will probably find the problem is worse when you have a case on your device, so try removing it and check to see if it makes a difference. All tablets get warm in use, but if your Kindle Fire HD is getting uncomfortably hot or automatically shutting down when in use, then you may have a faulty piece of hardware. Here are a few Amazon forum posts about it.

Potential solutions:

  • It’s possible that an app you have installed is causing the problem. Try uninstalling apps one by one and testing to see if the problem is gone, or back up everything and perform a factory reset.
  • You may have to contact Amazon and get a replacement tablet.

Annoyance: Email is not working or not updating

A number of users have struggled to get their email accounts working correctly on the Kindle Fire HD. Several reports suggest that the email will work for a small period of time and then inexplicably stop working and others report that they cannot get it to work at all. This seems to be a common problem for Verizon and Comcast customers, but it has cropped up for people with other ISPs as well. This is possibly caused by a problem with the native email app on the Kindle Fire HD because some people have reported that installing a third-party app worked for them. Here are some Amazon forum posts about this issue.

Workarounds:

Glitch: It won’t start up or freezes during use

Some people encounter freezing when they’re using the Kindle Fire HD or HDX, and others report that the tablet won’t power on. There are many posts about this issue at the Amazon forums. If your Kindle Fire won’t turn on, here’s what to try:

Possible solutions:

  • Try rebooting the device by holding down the power button for 20 seconds and then tapping the power button again to turn it back on.
  • Try holding down the power button for 20 seconds and, when the device is completely off, plug in the charger and press the power button again to turn on the device. If you think the battery might be dead, then leave it to charge for an hour before you turning it back on.
  • There’s a slim chance that your battery is dead and the charger or cable is faulty, so try plugging your Kindle Fire into a different outlet with another charger and cable to see if it makes a difference.

Problem: Device won’t charge

Various battery-related problems have been raised by Kindle Fire or Fire tablet owners. Issues range from a complete refusal to charge, to a partial charge, to a very slow charge. There are a few things you can double check and try before contacting Amazon. Remember that charging a Kindle Fire HD with Amazon’s cable and the optional charger should take four hours, while charging it using the USB plug on your computer will take 13.5 hours. You can read more about the problem at the Amazon forum.

Workaround:

  • The most likely cause of this issue is a loose or broken charging port. One way to get around this problem is to use a MicroUSB cable with a detachable magnetic connector that’s designed to stay in the port, as this prevents repeated wear and tear. You can buy such cables at Amazon.

Possible solutions:

  • Hold down the power button for 20 seconds to power off and then try plugging in the charger.
  • Make sure you are using the cable that you got with your Kindle Fire HD. If you didn’t buy the Amazon Kindle PowerFast for Accelerated Charging which costs an extra $20 then you need to check the rating on the charger you are using. A full charge should take 4 hours using the Amazon charger and cable. Many other device chargers will work just as well. But if you are using another charger with a lower rating, then it will work, but it might take a lot longer.
  • Try the charger with another device to make sure it is working.
  • If the charging light doesn’t come on (it should be orange when charging and green when charged), try pushing the cable in more or try gently moving it. Some Kindle Fire HDs or Fire tablets have loose ports, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to contact Amazon and get a replacement.

Glitch: It won’t connect to Wi-Fi

There are all sorts of reasons that your Kindle Fire HD or HDX won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you find that you can’t connect to Wi-Fi, then there are a couple of things to try. Make sure you don’t have Airplane Mode on and that you do have Wi-Fi on via the notifications bar More > Wireless. There are lots of Amazon forum posts about this issue.

Possible solutions:

  • Try holding the power button for a second and when, “Do you want to shut down your Kindle?“ pops up, tap “Shut Down.” Turn off your router. Now turn both of them back on again.
  • Try rebooting the device by holding down the power button for 20 seconds and then tapping the power button to turn it back on. You can also just hold down the power button for 40 seconds until the tablet reboots.
  • Before you start, make sure your Kindle Fire HD is fully charged and that you have backed up any precious files. Reset the Kindle Fire HD to its factory settings by pulling down the notifications bar and tapping More > My Account > Deregister. Then, read the text and tap Deregister to confirm. You can also do this on your computer by logging into Amazon, going to Manage Your Content and Devices > Your Devices, selecting your tablet, and choosing Deregister within the Actions column. Bring the notifications bar down again and hit More > Device > Reset to Factory Defaults, read the text, and tap Erase Everything. Keep in mind that you’ll have to set up your Wi-Fi network again from scratch.
  • Download the free Wi-Fi Analyzer app and make sure that busy channels are not your problem. This will also reveal any signal strength issues.

If you still can’t connect, it might be because your router is unsupported or you have the router set to the wrong channel. It is best to refer to your ISP and check what else you can try.

Problem: No sound through speakers or headphones

Quite a few people have reported issues with the audio coming through the speakers or the headphones on both the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets. There are probably a few separate issues going on here, so here are a few things you can try. You can read more about this problem in the Amazon forums.

Potential solutions:

  • It’s obvious, but start by trying the volume rocker on the side of the tablet and check in Settings > Display & Sounds.
  • If the speakers aren’t playing any sound, then try plugging in your headphones and unplugging them again, or reboot the tablet by holding down the power button for 20 seconds until it turns completely off, then tap the button again to turn it back on. This could be caused by unplugging your headphones when the tablet is asleep, so it erroneously believes your headphones are still plugged in and doesn’t play sound through the speakers.
  • If you’re having a problem with the headphones and you have a case on the device, then try removing the case and plug the headphones in. Some cases appear to have a cut-out for the headphone jack, but it may, in fact, be too small; or, due to the design of the plug, it might prevent good contact.
  • It is also possible you have a faulty jack or speakers. If you hear static or distortion, or you find that gently jiggling the headphone jack produces audio, then you might want to contact Amazon and find out about getting a replacement.

Glitch: Screen flicker

There have been several reports of flickering Kindle Fire screens. Some people have encountered this issue with specific apps or games, while others are suffering from it constantly. It may be a pulsing flicker or a fast temporary flickering. You can find a ton of posts in the Amazon forum about it and a YouTube video showing the glitch. You can try a couple of things to solve this issue.

Workarounds:

  • Pull down the notification shade and tap Brightness and then turn Auto-Brightness to Off.
  • Hold down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap it to bring the tablet back to life and the problem may be resolved temporarily.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have a case or cover then perhaps it is interfering with the brightness sensor. Try removing it and see if there’s a difference in behavior. You can also try manually setting the brightness to a specific level.
  • Try the Mayday feature to contact Amazon and arrange a replacement, some people report encountering the same problem on a replacement tablet, but there’s a good chance you won’t.

Problem: Silk browser crashing or not starting

A lot of Kindle Fire owners have run into issues with the preinstalled Silk browser. Here are some Amazon forum posts about it. It is criticized for being slow and for an unfortunate tendency to freeze and crash a lot.

Workarounds:

  • Try the usual reboot, hold down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap it again to turn back on.
  • Go to Settings > Applications > Manage All Applications and then choose All Applications > Silk Browser and tap Clear data.

Potential solutions:

  • If Silk won’t start it might be because you have Parental Controls on (this blocks access by default). You can check in Settings > Parental Controls.
  • Try an alternative browser like the Dolphin Browser.

Remember that you can access some help on the device itself by dragging down the notifications bar and tapping More > Help & Feedback.

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